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Latest News

January Stewardship & Woodland News

ELS JANUARY – hedge and ditch bank cutting continues as does ditch cleaning.

EF23 (supplementary feeding in winter for farmland birds) – food must be spread on the ground at designated sites at least once a week from 1st January. This is in addition to any hopper feeding. Don’t forget to keep your ‘feeding diary’ up-to-date in case of inspection.

Mid-Tier Countryside StewardshipAB1 (nectar flower mix) – if you haven’t done so already you have until 30th March to cut your nectar flower plots. Lots of customers don’t have the facility to cut and remove. If that is you then the best advice is to wait until a dry, frosty day and cut very steadily with a flail mower (not a rotary) as this will smash the woody material and is less likely to leave a carpet of mulch.

BE3 (management of hedgerows) – if you have gone for the one in two rather than one in three year cutting option then you can now cut half of your hedgerows up until 28th February

Winter Feeding – even if you don’t have EF23/HF24 or AB12 options under your ELS/HLS or Mid/Higher tier stewardship agreements, we would urge everyone to undertake some winter feeding for our declining farmland bird species. Whilst feeding wheat is better than nothing, some smaller seeds such as rape, sunflower hearts and millet would be far more beneficial for many of our passerines.

GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count: 7th-16th February click here for details

Please get counting! The more counts the GWCT receives the more they can do with the data. It’s also a great opportunity to see for yourself the wildlife that relies on your help through the winter.

Woodland News

Woodland Carbon Guarantee. The first ‘auction’ goes live at noon on 20 January 2020 and runs until 31 January. To be considered and involved in the auction, applications need be in by 10 January – Essentially this means the applicant needs to be signed up to FC Carbon Code, had a planting project approved and validated prior to this.  The first auction is likely to set the bar for future auction prices of a carbon credit / (tCO2e). The following auction is planned for August 2020.  Little is really known about this process although it looks like it would be worth becoming a member of the Carbon Code and registering any medium to large planting projects to facilitate the sale of predicted carbon storage in the future.  It is understood that small plantations <4ha are unlikely to be viable due to the associated costs of validating the project and then auditing the growing trees every 5 – 10 years to confirm projected carbon sequestration is on target.  To remind yourself about this scheme visit the scheme’s website.

Where are we with Elm?  One of our excellent Woodland Consultants, Karen Russell, was key to the production of this report from the Future Trees Trust - Where are we with Elm?

Re-elming the British countryside. A stand of 20 elms resistant to Dutch elm disease, developed by Hillier Tree Nursery was planted in the National Arboretum in Staffordshire in early December. Read the story here.

The cost of Ash Dieback. A council conservation manager said it was ‘virtually impossible’ to say how much it will cost to deal with the virulent tree disease ash dieback (ADB). Rosie Carmichael said Carmarthenshire Council had allocated £300,000 to survey and fell affected trees over the next two years. Read the article here.

Biggest threat to the National Forest – grey squirrels. This is the title of a new blog post by the UK Squirrel Accord (UKSA).

Fine for deliberate damage to tree – A homeowner was fined £60,000 because he deliberately damaged a 90-year-old protected cedar tree on street outside his house forcing the council to fell it - after his requests to chop it down were twice rejected by authority See article here.


We will be sending out our spring newsletter and product guide in February. If any of your address details have changed since last year, please contact the office to ensure your details are updated.